Gearing up for Banned Books Week, I thought I'd better get to this overdue post on a now-favorite banned book of mine, Lady Chatterley's Lover.
My sorority alumnae book club selected this title--okay, drew it out of a hat (who would have honestly picked this) because I suggested it for the mix--as an alternative to 50 Shades of Grey. It was one of the best book clubs we've had! The conversations were honest and more uninhibited than I would have expected for a group of four women all at very different stages of their lives.
I wish I had written this post sooner (we met back in May) because we did a great job of discussing the similarities and differences between Lady Chatterley and a lot of other books. Two of us who did read 50 Shades talked at length (ad nauseam, really) about how damned similar we found the title's namesake, Lady Constance Chatterley and the other horrible character, Anastasia. Sadly, I don't remember the legitimate conversations we had other than that.
There was a lot of talk about social and class commentary, and the differing and frequently changing view points of each character. The book had many characters at various class points--the Lord and Lady, the nurse, the townspeople, the gamekeeper--which created a complex presentation of persons, complicated even further by their altering beliefs. For instance, Connie goes on a tirade about the miners, but then can be very sympathetic and supportive of the little people who work on her estate. Many characters in the book show the same inconsistencies, regardless of their place in the world. I marked page 171, where a deep display of lower-class hatred appeared. The miners are less human and more "creature,"being referred to as "men not men, but animals of coal and iron and clay," the "fauna of the elements" and "weird inhuman beauty of minerals."